WITH a higher than normal fire season tipped for the area, the Mangoola Rural Fire Brigade (RFB) has busy recruiting new members to ensure it boasts the numbers to respond to any local emergencies, which may occur.
This week, four newcomers - Karen Chua, Hunter Ball, Cameron Norman and Cody Cummings - were successful in obtaining their BF (Bush Firefighter) qualification.
They can now attend jobs with their other colleagues in the brigade.
"Well done to Karen, Hunter, Cameron and Cody," Mangoola RFB Captain Shaun Hunter said.
"Thank you for putting the effort in and turning out to training.
"Without extra people willing to put their hand up and help out, the brigade would not be able to provide sufficient coverage to the areas that we manage.
"Being a volunteer firefighter with the NSW RFS is not only a very rewarding pastime, it also opens up avenues for personal development through a multitude of various nationally-recognised skill sets and qualifications.
"All we ask in return is that people put a little time into regular training to not only ensure our crews' safety but to make sure we, as a brigade, are providing the most effective service possible."
Captain Hunter said new members were always welcome.
"We are planning on running one more session in approximately three weeks to get them [new members] trained up as basic firefighters," he explained.
"After this, while we still encourage applications, the brigade may not have the time or district resources available to put them through training until after the fire season finishes.
"How fast someone can be trained and assessed is completely up to them.
"If they put in the time and effort we can have them on a truck this season.
"Current members are putting in big hours behind the scenes to help get the new ones up to speed but to also keep the wheels turning in the brigade so to speak.
"And, this takes lots of time away from their own families.
"So, a massive thank you goes to them too.
"Without the support of our families, the brigade would most certainly not be where it is nor would we be able to keep sending trucks to incidents as they arise.
"It's not always easy missing out on family time.
"However, those members of the brigade who chip in know it is a group effort to keep brigades running and operational."